Automotive spare parts are broadly divided into two types – Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket parts. OEM parts are made by the original vehicle manufacturer or an authorized manufacturer gets exclusive rights and specifications from the original company to make the automotive parts.
Aftermarket parts are not manufactured by the vehicle manufacturers. Aftermarket parts are designed in such a way that they fit into two or three similar automobile models. Though OEMs and aftermarket parts look similar, their design and quality is different.
To understand the difference between OEM and aftermarket spare parts let us compare various parameters.
• Quality: OEM parts are of assured quality as they are genuine and are manufactured according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Unless, the original manufacturer approves them, the auto parts cannot be manufactured. Further, as they are released in market with the original brand name, the manufacturers have long-term incentive to protect the reputation of the brand and thus maintain the quality as per the standards. used auto parts
Independent manufacturers buy rights to manufacture and supply original parts. On the other hand, aftermarket parts are not made by the OEM, they are not original. That doesn’t mean that aftermarket products are of sub-standard quality. They also perform well and at times they are of the same quality as the original or OEM parts.
• Variety: When it comes to variety, we have to admit that aftermarket parts are available in wide variety, as dozens of companies manufacture them in different variations. They are designed to fit different auto makes. However, this overwhelming selection may sometimes confuse the customer and may increase the likelihood of getting a bad quality product.
OEM parts are manufactured by only some companies. They are designed to fit in a specific automobile. So, the variety may not be that great. However, this limited variety helps the user to choose the exact spare part for the automobile.
• Cost: OEM parts are expensive when compared to the aftermarket parts. Aftermarket manufactures often succumb to the price pressure and tend to reduce the prices to make the products viable. In this process they may compromise on the quality of the products.
But, OEMs, bearing the responsibility to protect the brand image of the company will not manufacture sub-standard parts. Thus, their pricing is almost close to the original parts. Though they are expensive it’s worth investing because of their promising quality and durability.
• Warranty: Warranty is the major difference between OEM parts and aftermarket parts. OEMs generally back up their products with at least one year warranty. But the after-market manufacturers in order to keep the costs down will not provide any warranty for the parts.